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    Tinian Island Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands USA
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USAAF 1945
Location
Tinian Island is located in the Mariana Island Group (Mariana Islands). Also known as simply "Tinian". The island has an area of approximately 39 square miles. Tinian is roughly the same size and shape as Manhattan. Borders the Saipan Channel and Saipan Island to the north. To the south is Agrihan Island (Aguigan) and Rota Island (Luta). Today located in the Southern Islands Municipality of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) in the United States of America (USA).

Prewar
Tinian was claimed by both Spain and Germany. After World War I, Tinian became a protectorate of Japan. Under the Japanese administration, sugar cane plantations were established.

Wartime History
By July 1944, the Japanese garrison on Tinian included 9,000 personnel under the command of Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) Admiral Kakuda. During July 1944 attacked by American bombers and fighters. Starting on July 11, 1944 U. S. Navy (USN) warships bombarded the island for thirteen days ahead of the planned invasion.

American missions against Tinian
February 23, 1944–August 19, 1944

On July 24, 1944 the U. S. Marine Corps (USMC) 4th Division from Saipan landed at Unai Chulu on Tinian. Initially, the Japanese were taken by surprise and the operating was regarded as one of the best-executed amphibious operation of the entire Pacific War. During the initial landing, 1,500 U. S. Navy (USN) Seabees landed and immediately begin repairing Ushi Point Airfield, even before the fighting had ceased.

On July 26, 1944 the 2nd Marine Division also landed. By August 1, 1944 Tinian was officially declared secure at a cost of 328 Marines killed and 1,571 wounded. The Japanese lost 5,000 dead.

As American forces developed infrastructure they laid out roads in the same orientation as Manhattan, partly because Tinian is roughly the same size and shape. The main north-south road was dubbed "Broadway". Parallel and to thw west was "8th Avenue". On Tinian, six airfields connected by eleven miles of taxiways were built for B-29 Superfortresses to accommodate the entire 313th Bombardment Wing, plus two more airfields on Saipan.

Bruce Petty adds:
"People I interviewed on Tinian, who were relocated there from Yap, told me that they didn't have to farm or do work of any kind for the first two years because the military left entire warehouses full of everything imaginable from food, brand new uniforms, and even ice cream makers. Anybody who wanted a vehicle could just go pick one up and drive it until it fell apart, than go get another one."

Tinian Town (San Jose Village)
Located on the southwest of Tinian bordering Suharon Harbor. The successful invasion of Tinian hinged on a fake landing staged near "Tinian Town" (presently known as San Jose village) on July 24, 1944. While the 2nd Marine Division pretended to ready an attack on the southern part of the island, even going so far as to lower boats and men into the water, the 4th Marine Division launched the true invasion on the northern shore of Tinian.

White 1 and White 2
These were the landing beaches on Tinian used by the Marines.  There are Japanese bunkers on White 1, and a pillbox on White 2.

Ushi Point
Located at the northern edge of Tinian including North Field (Ushi Point Airfield).

Gurguan Point
Located on the western tip of Tinian

West Field (Gurguan Point Airfield)
Built by the Japanese occupied by the U. S. and expanded into a base for B-29 Superfortresses

Japanese Holdout
In 1953, Japanese soldier Murata Susumu was captured. He was living in a small shack near a swamp since the war.

References
Marines in World War II Commemorative Series "A Close Encounter: The Marine Landing on Tinian"

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Last Updated
July 28, 2019

 

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